Posted By on May 8, 2012

Last week’s blog was about a Facebook friend who posted a “billboard” likening President Obama to Ronald McDonald. Today’s Plain Dealer recounts a Romney campaign stop in which Ohio auditor Dave Yost makes the same comparison, quoting from the same playbook.

I didn’t argue with the Facebook friend, though that side of him infuriates me. Argument isn’t the point in Facebook postings; affirmation is, whether you’re on the left or right. But now that this message is spreading, it’s time to blast it, because all it does is polarize.

Polarization is all the rage in this year’s election, featuring a campaign between two very cautious candidates (Romney flip-flops; Obama hedges). Obama’s killing of bin Laden—which I applaud despite how uneasy assassination makes me—is one of the purest, most clear-cut actions this president has taken. I wish he were more forthright about same-sex marriage, a vexing issue on which he lags. But that’s another blog.

Despite Obam’s taking out of bin Laden, the GOP is bent on portraying him as weak on the military. I haven’t seen any proof of that, despite what my Facebook friend and the GOP’s hard right say. Proof doesn’t matter, however. All that does is the message, and if nothing else, the GOP has shown remarkable message discipline ever since Obama took office.

Too bad all that messaging does is polarize.


3 Responses to “Polarization”

  1. Alex Bevan says:

    I agree… polarization inhibits (or skews) the ability to find perspective in things. thanks for bringing this out.

  2. Max Dehn says:

    Carlo, I don’t understand the sensitivity on behalf of the president. American politics is and always has been rough and tumble. Do you remember the left’s savaging of Richard Nixon? The endless attacks from the right directed toward the Clintons? And c’mon Carlo, you saw the bumper sticker reading “somewhere in Texas a village is missing its idiot.” The point is, a certain and substantial level of abuse comes with the presidency. And this president’s supporters (not Obama himself that i can see) are weirdly thinskinned when it comes to their man taking his licks.

    Perhaps your larger point is that the “polarizing” attacks are bad regardless of the viewpoint of the attacker. I don’t know; I like Americans’ irreverance for political leaders, and ready willingness to knock them off a pedestal even before they find one. And as far as Obama goes, I don’t think he has suffered the level of denigration that even his immediate predecessor suffered.

  3. Carlo says:

    Actually, Max, I think Obama has suffered the level of denigration Dubya did–for different reasons. Besides, Obama is a better president than Bush, arguably one of (if not) the worst in US history.

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About the author

I'm a veteran critic and business writer who reads and listens and writes about music, books, hotels and travel. I've been in the business for many years and still enjoy it. My pride and joy is my book, Cleveland Rock & Roll Memories. Follow me on Twitter: http://twitter.com/CarloWolff